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Welcome to the blog of Dr. Chen at True Image Orthodontics, your local Cypress, TX orthodontic practice! We are excited to use this space to share office updates, events, and great articles about the exciting world of orthodontics! Dr. Chen is always accepting new patients at his Cypress, TX orthodontics office and we look forward to seeing you soon!
By Dr. David Chen on 4/21/2017 12:55 PM
Spring is here, which means its time for new seasonal rubber band colors! If you want to mix it up with new colors, here are some ideas that are perfect for spring.


Home Run! Baseball season is here, so pick colors to match your favorite MLB team. Maybe blue and orange for the Houston Astros? Or, if you play baseball, match your team’s jersey color!


Another fun baseball-themed idea is to get red and white bands – the red will look just like the stitching on a baseball!


Spring is all about bright colors that mimic flowers. Pink, purple, green, yellow, and orange will all have a fun spring look to match a floral shirt! Pretty pastels are perfect for the season.


Spring is now music festival season, so why not celebrate with some neon rubber bands! These are great to bring you into summer and put some excitement in your smile.


If you’ve got graduation around the corner, why not match your braces to your school’s colors? It will match you...
By Dr. David Chen on 4/7/2017 11:33 AM
Congrats on your new braces! Now, you’re probably wondering how to take care of them. You know how to brush your teeth – but now how do you do it with braces?!


Kids with braces must take extra care cleaning their teeth and may need to adjust how and how often they brush their teeth. You need to brush after every meal, even up to 4 times a day, is a great way to keep food particles and plaque from building up in the braces and teeth. Make sure you brush for several minutes! Your toothbrush should be replaced as soon as the bristles start to fray. bristles start to fray or wear down.

To correctly brush teeth with braces:

1. Hold the toothbrush parallel to the floor against the side of the teeth.

2. Move the toothbrush in small circular motions, guiding the head of the brush from tooth to tooth, following the regular curve of the gums and teeth.

3. Brush each tooth for several seconds carefully and slowly to make sure all food particles are reached and removed along the...
By Dr. David Chen on 3/16/2017 4:26 PM
Sometimes, your braces will be uncomfortable. This is particularly true after any appointment when you get them tightened.


The best trick to keep your mouth feeling comfortable, and to be prepared for any emergencies, is to always carry dental wax with you!


The wax is specially designed for braces can coat the wires so that they don’t irritate your mouth. Your orthodontist will give you a supply, and don’t be shy to ask for extra!


If you ever run out, this wax is sold under various product names, like "orthodontic wax" "braces wax," "wax for braces," or "dental wax." It is widely available at pharmacies.



Braces can also cause soreness from rubbing on the inside surface of your cheeks or lips in the first days of wearing them, so covering them with wax may be helpful.



It’s always a good idea to have a supply of wax with you. That way, if one of the wires accidentally breaks, you can coat it with wax to keep it from...
By Dr. David Chen on 3/3/2017 1:11 PM
Retainers are necessary to help keep your teeth straight. But like your teeth, they need to be cleaned regularly so they don’t deteriorate or damage your teeth. Cleaning them regularly, especially after you’ve eaten, keeps bacteria from building up. You can also use these cleaning techniques for your Invisalign trays.


Keep your retainers moist. Keeping them moist would avoid the bonding of tartar and the biofilm in your retainers.


Always have them soaked in distilled water. Your retainers should either be in your mouth or soaked in distilled water. Add in some baking soda to keep it clean and safe from harmful chemicals which can be transmitted to your mouth.


Use denture cleaners or alcohol-free mouthwash to clean your retainers. If you want your retainers to be tartar-free and germ-free, use a denture cleaner or an alcohol-free mouthwash to soak your retainers in. Leave it there for 15 minutes or so before gently rinsing and putting it back in your mouth. Avoid using a toothbrush or toothpaste to brush your retainers for it may cause scratches where bacteria might thrive.

By Dr. David Chen on 2/14/2017 2:55 PM
If your first orthodontic appointment is coming up, don’t be nervous! Getting your braces on may feel like a scary thing, but it is actually a fairly simple process. Here is what you can expect.


A week before you get your braces on, your orthodontist may insert small rubber spacers between your back molars to allow space for your braces.


Typically, the process will take 1-2 hours. You may find it helpful to bring headphones to listen to favorite music or a podcast during the appointment to distract yourself.


First, the orthodontist will clean and dry your teeth. Then, using a special glue, he will attach the brackets to your teeth. The glue may not taste very good, but it is harmless.


Then, the orthodonist will apply the metal archwire and secure it with elastic bands. You get to choose the color of the elastic bands, so take time to think about what shades you want!


Your mouth, especially your teeth and gums, will feel sore for a few days. Take an over-the-counter pain reliever as necessary, and stick with soft foods like mashed potatoes and smoothies.

By Dr. David Chen on 2/2/2017 12:11 PM
If you’re considering your options for braces, it may feel a little overwhelming. But each option has its owns pros and cons, and depending on your lifestyle and budget, you’ll be able to decide what is best for you!


Metal Braces – These are the traditional stainless steel brackets and wires.


Least expensive

Most effective

Allows kids to express themselves with colored bands



Most noticeable

Limit you from eating hard and sticky foods


Ceramic braces- Same size and shape as metal braces, but with tooth-colored or clear ceramic brackets.


Less noticeable than metal

Most effective (same as metal)


More costly than metal

May stain more easily


Invisalign – Clear retainers that are replaced every two weeks to gently move teeth


Nearly invisible

Allows you to eat and drink anything



Only available for teens and adults

By Dr. David Chen on 1/17/2017 1:15 PM
Finding foods to eat that are filling, nutritious, and easy on sore teeth is no easy task. Here’s a tasty recipe for homemade tomato soup that is perfect for anyone with braces. Packed with vegetables that support good oral health as well as full-body health, you can’t go wrong! Be sure to brush your teeth after every meal to prevent food from getting stuck in your braces. Serve this tasty soup with soft bread or even a soft grilled cheese and you’ve got a great meal!


Simple Tomato Soup. Originally from Pinch of Yum


4 slices bacon, cut into small pieces

2 carrots, chopped

half of a yellow onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

1½ tablespoons tomato paste

1 tablespoon flour

4 cups chicken broth (more to thin out the soup at the end as needed)

½ teaspoon dried thyme

1 bay leaf

1 28-ounce can whole San Marzano tomatoes

cream (optional - to add at the end as desired)

By Dr. David Chen on 1/3/2017 4:41 PM
If you're feeling down about all the foods you have to avoid now that you have braces, cheer up! There are so many delicious foods that you can eat to your heart's content! See if your favorite treat made the list:


Dairy — soft cheese, pudding, milk-based drinks

Breads — soft tortillas, pancakes, muffins without nuts

Grains — pasta, soft cooked rice

Meats/poultry — soft cooked chicken, meatballs, lunch meats 

Seafood — tuna, salmon, crab cakes, other soft fish

Vegetables — mashed potatoes, steamed spinach, beans, cooked green beans, cooked carrots

Fruits — applesauce, bananas, fruit juice, soft/cut-up apples and pears

Treats — ice cream without nuts, milkshakes, Jell-O, pudding, soft cake


Good meals to eat with braces:


Sandwich with lunch meat on soft bread and sliced cheese

Macaroni and cheese with cooked broccoli

Mashed potatoes and rotisserie chicken

Chicken noodle soup

Lasagna with extra-soft...
By Dr. David Chen on 12/19/2016 5:02 PM
Brushing your teeth while you have braces is definitely more difficult than it is without braces! Using the right toothbrush can make all the difference in fighting plaque and cavities, and ending up needing extra cleanings for your teeth.


The best toothbrush for braces is small and flexible enough to move around your mouth and your braces.


The best choice: An electric toothbrush designed for working around braces. This special toothbrush allows you to clean all sides of each tooth, while using the right amount of pressure. This makes the cleaning more effective and more efficient. These are sometimes called interdental brush with an angled head and brush that can fit around your braces.


Second best: A regular toothbrush with a smaller head. Be aware you will need to work the bristles both upward and downwards to get a good clean over your braces.


Skip it: A regular electric toothbrush is not very flexible and can be difficult to move around your braces. The brackets and wires will also cause the brush to wear down faster.

By Dr. David Chen on 12/8/2016 11:42 AM
It’s very important to keep your teeth healthy and strong while you have braces. While brushing and flossing are a big part of that, your diet is also very important! Here are some foods to add to your diet to keep your teeth strong.


Tooth enamel is made of minerals, and different acidic foods and drinks may cause erosion of the enamel. To make your teeth strong again you need to put some minerals back, which can be done with calcium and phosphorous. These elements are the building blocks of enamel and consuming foods rich in them is a necessity if you want to keep your teeth strong and healthy.


Best sources of calcium – yogurt, cheese, seafood, milk, tofu.

Best sources of phosphorous - fish, red meat, eggs, tofu, broth


Crunchy foods with lots of water have a naturally abrasive texture, so they gently scrub and clean teeth surfaces, removing plaque and food particles. The act of chewing also produces saliva, which is the best natural neutralizer of the bacteria...
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Dental Care Tips: After Braces
Pediatric Orthodontics: What You Need To Know
Adult Braces? How To Know If You Really Need Them
Things to Avoid With Braces
Do I Really Need Braces and How Do They Really Work?
Soft and Healthy Dinner Idea for Painful Teeth
Why Do Kids Get Crooked Teeth?
DIY Popsicles
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